Open Thread Mondays: Putting It To Putin

The sometimes-ally of the United States, Vladimir V. Putin, was kinda-sorta-maybe elected to be president of Russia yesterday, winning 63.75 percent of the vote.

And, today, thousands took to the streets to denounce the victory, and international observers slammed the election, saying Putin faced no real competition while receiving a bevy of government funds for his campaign.

Putin is sometimes hailed and sometimes hated, having kept a solid grasp over Russia’s affairs – as president, then prime minister, and now president again – for a dozen years. His relations with America are frequently described as “prickly,” and some observers say he has done much to benefit Russia, but has also exercised a level of government reach comparable to the Soviet era.

Considering the large amount of Russian-Americans among our readers, what do you think of Putin’s win yesterday? Is this a step forward or backwards for Russia, and what does it mean for America?

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